We’ve all been there. You start with great intentions. You’re going to get in shape and stick to a diet and exercise plan like our Yogablitz progamme. And for the first couple of weeks everything is hunky dory. You lose a few pounds and you start to feel better about yourself and then for no apparent reason the weight just refuses to shift.
So, what could be the reason for that? Well here are five of the most common reasons…
- Forgetting weekends.
Simple really; you follow the Yogablitz calorie controlled diet during the week but then when the weekend comes you feel like you deserve to have a bit of a treat or a drink or three to unwind after a tough week. You feel ‘well I’ve been good all week, so what’s the big deal?’ Well sadly it’s probably what’s causing you to plateau.
If your daily calorie intake for your diet 1400 (and let's say that's a deficit of 500 calories below what you need to maintain. For most people that ‘maintenance’ level is around 1800 calories) you should lose about 1lb of fat each week.
But if you eat 3250 calories each day of the weekend (a blowout of 1750) that completely wipes out any deficit and means you won't lose any weight at all.
If you think the 1750-calorie blowout seems far-fetched, it's less than one Sainsbury's 500g pizza, two large glasses of wine and 150g of vanilla ice cream!
Doesn’t seem much but it will completely wipe out all of the good work you’ve done in the week.
- Cutting out Carbs and Sugar
How many times do you hear – you’ve got to go cut out carbs and sugar to lose weight? It’s just not true.
Obviously if you eat too many carbs you’ll get fat because too many calories from any source will put you into a calorie surplus.
So you could eat too many calories from veg and protein and still gain weight. Just as you could lose weight only eating pasta and bread– if the calories are less than you’re burning off.
Cutting carbs may work for you in the short term, because you'll be eliminating a huge swathe of foods that you over-eat on and therefore you'll lower your calorie intake. But banishing a whole food group is not healthy - you need carbs for your brain to work properly. Plus it will make you miserable and get you craving those spuds and pasta you love. So ultimately you won’t be able to sustain it.
That’s why the Yogablitz diet is a healthy and sustainable mix of carbs, sugar, fats and protein. And yes we have chocolate and alcohol on there – you just have to get the portions right!
- Eating ‘Healthy’ Foods.
Fresh, unprocessed foods taste good and are better for us but if you eat too much of anything, the excess calories will make you fat. 'Healthy fats' like extra virgin olive oil or avocados, for example, may well have health benefits but they are very calorie-dense. One tablespoon of olive oil contains 120 calories. Add three spoonfuls to your salad and that's an easily-overlooked 360 calories.
Nuts and seeds are described as healthy additions to a diet but they are extremely high in calories. Just 100g of almonds or sunflower seeds contains 600 calories, while walnuts and pine nuts have 700 - equivalent to three jacket potatoes, a large portion of paella or 250g of tiramisu.
If you consider a lot of women on a diet aim for 1200-1400 calories a day, these so-called healthy foods will quickly eat into your target and leave you hungry.
Freshly made juices and fruit smoothies should also be treated with caution. Basically liquid sugar, these high-calorie 'healthy' drinks can create a big sugar spike followed by a dip, leading to hunger pangs that may force you to break your diet.
- Unrealistic Goals
Achieving a fat loss transformation is as much about mental effort as physical. We all start with a huge flush of enthusiasm. It’s energising. And we then set a weight loss target that might be beyond us.
As with smartphone battery life, car fuel consumption and home broadband speed, the reality rarely matches the ideal scenario. Holidays, weekends, temptations and just finding it difficult to stick to it, means that it will probably take longer to get to your goals than you might hope.
But who cares as long as you get there?! There will be days when you go ‘off target’ but the main thing is not to give up completely. Come back on it again - start afresh - and the results you want will follow.
- Life Gets in the Way
When diets and health-kicks fail, the most popular reasons are that "life got in the way" and "I travel a lot for my job".
This can sound like excuses but it’s probably – particularly dare I say it for women – because you are not making yourself enough of a priority.
If you have a job and children it's hard to carve out time for yourself. But you have to think – if I’m miserable and broken, I won’t be any use to my family or my boss anyway!
So make that time for yourself, your body and your peace of mind. Our workouts are only 5 minutes long, so you can fit it around your day. Make a plan to be good to yourself – put it in your diary. You deserve it!
No one is perfect, least of all me. So don’t beat yourself up if it isn’t going the way you want at the moment. We’re all human. Stick with it and in the long run I promise you that you’ll get the results that you want.